Most Americans say police reforms necessary: CBS News poll

Memphis police stand behind a locked gate at a precinct as a group of demonstrators arrive outside to protest the death of Tyre Nichols, who died after being beaten by Memphis police officers, in Memphis, Tennessee, US, January 29, 2023. /CFP

A new poll suggests an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that changes and reforms should be made in US police departments in the wake of the release of body camera footage of the police killing of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee.

Eighty-nine percent of those surveyed said that changes are needed in the US police departments, according to a CBS News/YouGov poll published on Sunday.

"Race has long played a role in views of police. Black Americans are more apt to report feeling a mix of both protected and threatened by police in their area, whereas most White Americans feel just protected," said CBS News.

Over half of white Americans (52 percent) said they believe they are protected by the police, while only 25 percent of Black Americans believe they are protected by the police, according to the poll.

Meanwhile, the poll suggests that 67 percent of Black Americans believe the police treat white people better.

"When they judge police treatment generally, Black Americans are especially likely to say police in most communities treat White people better than Black people. In turn, about two-thirds of Black Americans want major changes to the way police departments operate in the United States," said CBS News

The poll was conducted from February 1 to 4, 2023, with a sample of 2,030 US adult residents interviewed.

The CBS/YouGov poll also suggested that most Americans (61 percent) are pessimistic about the country's economy, noting "there's little consensus among Americans on which way the economy is headed from here."